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Glenn L. Martin

AKA Glenn Luther Martin

Born: 17-Jan-1886
Birthplace: Macksburg, IA
Died: 5-Dec-1955
Location of death: Baltimore, MD
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Fairhaven Memorial Park, Santa Ana, CA

Gender: Male
Religion: Presbyterian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Engineer, Business

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Martin Aircraft Co.

Glenn L. Martin was an aviation pioneer, and one of the major figures of American industry in the first half of the twentieth century. As a boy he built and sold box kites of his own design, and as a young man he built his first airplanes with help from the mechanics in a Ford dealership he had opened when he was 18 years old. From about 1910-14 he toured the nation as a barnstorming show pilot, and in 1912, with a factory in a building that had previously been a Methodist church, he incorporated his airplane-making business as the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company. In 1915 he played "the pilot" in a Mary Pickford film, A Girl of Yesterday, flying the star and a camera for some of cinema's most stunning aerial photography to that time. In 1916 Martin Aircraft became the Wright-Martin Aircraft Company after merging with Wilbur and Orville Wright's Wright Company, but Martin was not a man who could compromise, and the following year he left the partnership and established a new Martin Aircraft Company.

His company was best known for its bombers and seaplanes, including the B-26 Marauder, the B-29 Superfortress, and the China Clipper flying boat that made Pan American Airlines' early reputation. His employees included Lawrence Bell, Donald W. Douglas, James S. McDonnell, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, and Blanche Stuart Scott, and he gave flying lessons to another employee, William Boeing. Martin never drank alcoholic beverages, never smoked, never attended parties, never married, and lived with his mother until well into his 50s. After his death, his company became Martin Marietta in 1961, and Lockheed Martin in 1995. It is also a corporate ancestor of Martin Marietta Materials.

Father: Clarence Martin (hardware store owner, d. 1935)
Mother: Minta Martin

    University: BS Engineering, Kansas Wesleyan University

    Martin Aircraft Co. (Founder & President, 1912-55)
    Collier Trophy 1932
    Daniel Guggenheim Medal 1940
    National Aviation Hall of Fame

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